Two approaches for fettuccine Alfredo, a traditional Italian version with butter and Parmesan, and a more modern version with cream and nutmeg.
For this dish we prefer dry fettucine noodles to freshly made because the pasta holds up better to the sauce. The instructions assume that you are using dry noodles. If you use fresh, adjust timing accordingly.
- 1/2 pound dry fettuccine pasta
- 3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Black pepper
Additional, for creamy version:
- 1/2 cup cream
1 Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and drop in your fettuccine.
2a Plain version Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over low heat. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat off.
2b Creamy version Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over low heat. Add the cream to the butter as it melts. Stir often to combine the two, do not turn off the heat, but keep the heat at its lowest setting while the pasta cooks.
3 When the fettuccine is al dente (cooked, but still a little firm) lift it out of the pot with tongs and move the pasta to the sauté pan. Do not drain the pasta. You want it dripping wet with the cooking water. Turn on the heat under the sauté pan to medium and swirl the pasta and butter together to combine. Add half the cheese, then swirl and toss the pasta until it has incorporated into the sauce. If needed, add a few spoonfuls more of the pasta cooking water. Add the rest of the cheese and repeat.
4 Serve at once with either a little black pepper (for classic version) or nutmeg (for creamy version) ground over the pasta.
Yield: Serves 4.